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UK Employment Market Is Softening

The UK unemployment number has risen for the fourth month in a row, reflecting the changing prospects for the UK economy. While it can be very difficult to actually find the real rate of unemployment – due to the fact that the way of counting is amended on a regular basis – even the government’s own preferred method shows a rise of 38,000 to 1.643 million.

The number of people signing on for benefits is also on the increase with 9,000 more claiming benefits in May and 11,200 in April. These figures are a little misleading because there are various clauses which mean that many who lose their jobs are not able to sign-on immediately.

Perhaps more worrying is the rate at which wages are rising, against the rate of increase in the cost of living. Wage inflation fell to 3.8% for the last 3 months when many had been expecting a move from 4% up to 4.1%. When you consider that this rate of wage inflation is substantially below the increase in the ‘real’ cost of living, many more people in the UK are a step closer to serious financial difficulties. How low can the UK economy go?

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